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Tight Armholes with Sleeves
Alteration for a men's shirt armhole
Paddy K
Paddy K
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Member since 2/23/10
Posts: 10
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Date: 2/14/11 3:53 PM

I'm making a band collar shirt for my husband and in trying on the muslin I am seeing that the armholes are too tight. Do I make the adjustment as I would with a sleeveless shirt, i.e. cutting the armhole bigger? And if so, how do I make the complementary adjustment on the sleeve itself? All of the other measurments seem to be fine. Thanks!
-- Edited on 2/14/11 5:38 PM --
-- Edited on 2/15/11 3:20 PM --

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Paddycake

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 2/14/11 6:15 PM

If the fit is only a little snug, and he just needs a wee bit more room, you can tweak it by sewing deeper seam allowances in the armscye (I usually do just the underarm area, not the shoulder). This has the benefit of hitting both the armscye and the sleeve simultaneously, and you don't have to fuss with really 'altering' anything. It's a little hard to visualize, but basically all you need to do is increase the seam allowance as you approach the underarm area, then taper back to the regular S/A as you go around. (Much easier to DO than explain!)

Of course, for a significant alteration, you should probably do things the "correct" way!
-- Edited on 2/15/11 2:04 AM --

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~Gem in the prairie

Paddy K
Paddy K
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Member since 2/23/10
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Date: 2/14/11 7:41 PM

Thanks stirwatersblue for your reply. I understand your answer, but in looking at RTW shirts that fit him well, the bottom part of the armpit seems much lower than the pattern I'm working on. In looking at my sewing "how to" books, they all say how to cut in for a sleeveless tight armhole adjustment, but no comment on how to adjust it for a pattern with sleeves. I'm still unclear as to how to make the adjustment for not only the armhole, but also the sleeve portion. And for the life of me, I can't figure it out just by looking at the pieces and how they fit together. This is my first foray into long sleeves. Thanks~

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Paddycake

JEF
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JEF  Friend of PR
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Subject: Topic moved Date: 2/15/11 10:20 PM

This topic has been moved from Fitting Woes to Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting

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"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." --Abraham Lincoln

dscheidt

dscheidt
Member since 6/8/09
Posts: 397
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In reply to Paddy K


Date: 2/18/11 11:06 AM

Quote: Paddy K
Thanks stirwatersblue for your reply. I understand your answer, but in looking at RTW shirts that fit him well, the bottom part of the armpit seems much lower than the pattern I'm working on. In looking at my sewing "how to" books, they all say how to cut in for a sleeveless tight armhole adjustment, but no comment on how to adjust it for a pattern with sleeves. I'm still unclear as to how to make the adjustment for not only the armhole, but also the sleeve portion. And for the life of me, I can't figure it out just by looking at the pieces and how they fit together. This is my first foray into long sleeves. Thanks~

Most RTW shirts have ridiculously low arm scyes, because that avoids having to make shirts that fit the wearer. If the scye is actually at the shoulder, it can be pretty tight -- only an inch or two bigger than the arm -- without feeling that way (except when you put it on, but that's only a few seconds once a day). Shoulder width is only mildly correlated with neck size, which is the driving measure of men's RTW dress shirts, so RTW makers use huge low armholes so the wearer can swim in them.

Can you post pictures? Tightness in the armscye is fairly often caused by something else. If the back is too small, it'll feel tight at the shoulders. If it's too big, the scyes will be off the shoulder, and get pulled when the wearer moves his arms (that's why their so big in RTW: they don't have to be in the right place.). Shoulder slope can be a problem too.
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